A Lightened-Up Version of Paula Deen’s Creamy Mac & Cheese

by Colleen Greene on November 20, 2010 · 5 comments



A lighter version of Paula Dean's Creamy Mac & Cheese.

Paula Deen’s slowcooker macaroni and cheese has been one of my family’s favorite potluck and party dishes for several years.  It’s a hit with kids and adults, is so creamy and cheesy, and is ridiculously cheap and easy to prepare.

Unfortunately, it is just too high in fat and calories for me to serve anymore.

So, when we had my in-laws over a couple months ago to enjoy Hubby’s excellent pulled pork, I skinnied down the recipe by using low-fat milk, low-fat cheese, fat-free sour cream, and Egg Beaters.  Since whole wheat macaroni doesn’t lower the Points value on this large a quantity of food, I stuck with regular macaroni because the noodles turn out softer.

And you know what?  Everyone — even the kids — agreed that they actually liked this version of mac and cheese better than the original one!

Although still super creamy and cheesy, the lighter version didn’t look or taste nearly as greasy or heavy as the original recipe.  Remember that big ol’ scary greasy blob of melted butter and cheese that got added to the slowcooker?  No more.  Its lighter counterpart blog looks much more artery-friendly.

I really doubt that I’ll ever go back to the original recipe.  Once again, my family ate every last little bite, leaving no leftovers behind.  But this time, I felt much better about what I was putting into their bodies.

This is the original recipe. The lighter version (photo above) is much creamer.

Lightened Up Creamy Mac & Cheese

It's amazing what a difference lighter substitutions make!

Creamy Mac & Cheese

The big scary greasy blob of melted butter and cheese from the original recipe.

Lightened Up Creamy Mac & Cheese

Although I cut this recipe in half the day I took the photo, you can see how much nicer the melted light margarine and light cheese look in the new version.

Lighter Paula Deen’s Slow Cooker Creamy Mac & Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 12
 
Weight Watchers Info: 5 PointsPlus
Ingredients
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (an 8-ounce box isn’t quite 2 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons light margarine (I use Brummel and Brown)
  • 2½ cups (about 10 ounces) grated reduced fat sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cups egg substitute, beaten
  • ½ cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 (10¾-ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts.
  3. In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Then add drained macaroni and stir again.
  4. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

 

  • http://www.rusticgardenbistro.com Kim

    Wow, what a difference the new ingredient list makes! I think the lightened up version looks MUCH more photogenic, if that means anything. :-) Make some for us, sometime?!

    [K]

    • http://www.colleenscommentary.net/ Colleen Greene

      Thanks. I’m not sure if the new version is more photogenic, or if it’s just a bad photo in the original version (definitely an older post, before we paid more attention to our photos). But, we did all agree the lighter version tastes better. Yep, we’ll make it sometime when we do a BBQ.

  • Clementine

    wow 12 servings out of 2 cups of pasta? it makes it seem like you would only get one bite!

    • http://about.me/colleengreene Colleen Greene

      Not at all.  You’re thinking 2 cups “cooked” pasta.  This recipes uses 2 cups of “UNcooked” pasta — that converts into a whole lotta cooked pasta.

  • Maranda615

    How much is a serving?

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